Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez told Albuquerque business leaders today he plans to stick to his guns in support of raising the minimum wage and opposing right-to-work legislation when Republicans take control of the state House in January.
“There are some things that we’re just not going to agree on. Philosophically, we will not agree,” Sanchez, D-Belen, told members of the Albuquerque Economic Forum at a breakfast event on Wednesday.
But Sanchez said he also would try to build positive relationships with House Republicans while looking for areas where the two chambers can find common ground.
“Are there going to be differences? Yes. Are there going to be discussions and a few arguments here and there? Absolutely there will be,” Sanchez said. “But I will promise you one thing: … We will not end up like Washington, DC, where those people can’t talk to each other, can’t agree with each other and are disrespectful to each other.”
Sanchez said he has “a lot of respect” for House Republicans’ nominee for speaker, Rep. Don Tripp, R-Socorro.
Sanchez said some areas of agreement already are clear, such as efforts to attract new businesses to New Mexico partly by increasing money available to help local governments offer incentives.
“I think the House Republicans, along with the minority (Democrats) in the House, understand that we’re in a critical stage here in New Mexico in terms of turning the corner,” Sanchez said, referring to the state’s struggling economy. “If we sit there in Santa Fe and yell and scream at each other like they do in Washington, DC, and make ugly remarks about each other, it doesn’t solve one problem.”